Maryland vs. North Carolina Pick
Yesterday was about as good of a day as the Terps could have asked for. They came up with a huge game against the Duke Blue Devils to keep their chances to dance alive, and a number of bubble teams, not the least of which was the Virginia Cavaliers, were beaten. We still have to think that it is going to take an upset in this game to get Maryland in the field of 68, but even a loss at least still keeps it in the discussion. The question is whether F Dez Wells can come up with another effort like he put forth against the Dookies. Wells knocked down all 10 of his foul shots, hit a couple shots from the outside, and made a few thunderous runs into the lane and got easy buckets, and when the dust settled, he had a career-high 30 points to show for his work. We just don’t know if he can do it again, and if he can’t, can C Alex Len figure out how to take advantage of the undersized Tar Heels? Len had 10 points and eight boards against Duke, but he is going to have to run all over the place to stay on the court against North Carolina.
The little lineup that North Carolina continuously is putting on the court is proving to wreak havoc in the ACC. The Florida State Seminoles were able to hang with the boys from Chapel Hill for at least the first 18 minutes or so, but eventually, matters got out of hand and the game never really was close in the second half. We could very well look back at the foul trouble that F James Michael McAdoo had in the first half as a good thing, as he wasn’t playing a full 40 minutes or anywhere near it, keeping him fresher for this one. McAdoo is going to have a tough draw against Len for most of the night, and he is going to have to be physical in the paint and stay out of foul trouble. G PJ Hairston knocked down five triples against Florida State, four of which came in the first half, and his lethal shooting is what really led to the game becoming a blowout in the end.
Maryland is a great rebounding team, and it showed that against the Dookies on Friday. This is really the only advantage that the Terrapins are going to bring to the table in this one, as they are outclassed just about everywhere else on the court. Still, with Wells playing out of his mind, and the athleticism taking over in the paint, at least Maryland can hang. The energy won’t be enough to get a ‘W’, but we do think that taking the points is the right play. North Carolina 79 – Maryland 75